In a recent article on CNBC.com, GPC's Alexander Poltorak comments on a different sort of patent infringement lawsuit: a design patent on yoga pants. ("Analysis: Lululemon patent claim highlights cutthroat yoga world" CNBC.com - August 18, 2012)
Article excerpt: Lululemon's filing says some Calvin Klein "Performance" pants infringe patents on its "Astro Pant." Two of the styles singled out were recently listed online at $39.99 and $60.00 before discounts, compared with $98 for the Astro.
In court, Lululemon will have to show that its rival's products look like the patented pants. The other side can strike back with "prior art" - evidence that others made similar products before Lululemon.
"It's kind of difficult in clothing to design something which is completely new, because, you know, the history of clothing design goes for several thousand years," said Alexander Poltorak, chief executive of General Patent Corporation.
Design patents often protect patterns on fabric, wallpaper and the like, said Poltorak, whose company administers patent licensing and enforcement for clients.